California’s Carbon Challenge: Scenarios for Achieving 80% Emissions Reduction in 2050

October, 2012
Lawrence Berkeley Lab Energy Analysis & Environmental Impacts Department

Meeting the State of California’s 2050 target of 80% lower greenhouse
gas emissions (GHG) from a 1990 baseline is a challenging goal that cannot be met
without a portfolio of measures and strategies that span both energy demand and
energy supply.

This study focuses on energy emissions with the target of reducing
energy emissions by 80% relative to 1990 energy emissions. Meeting the 2050 target
requires both a sustained commitment to aggressively develop existing technologies
as well as an aggressive and sustained policy commitment to reshape and ultimately
transform the state’s energy system.  The
2050 GHG target for California appears achievable, but requires significant changes
in the way we produce energy, deliver energy services, and utilize energy.

Our 2050  Base Case  energy system has four critical elements:

  • aggressive energy efficiency across all sectors (at technical
    potential levels for buildings and industry);
  • clean or low-carbon electricity;
  • electrification of vehicles as well as buildings and to a lesser
    extent, industry heat; and
  • low-carbon biofuels.   

Author: 
Wei, M, Nelson, JH, Ting, M, Yang, C
RAEL Author: 
Ana Mileva
RAEL Author: 
Christopher M. Jones
RAEL Author: 
Daniel M. Kammen
RAEL Author: 
Josiah Johnston
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